Tonga 1962 2d, 5d, 1s 'Air' Officials, SG O11/13
Tonga 1962 (7 Feb) "Emancipation" Air Officials, 2d ultramarine, 5d violet, 1s red-brown, type O3 overprint, in right marginal blocks of 4, the 2d and 1s both from R5-6/4-5 of the 5x6 setting, with the 1s lower right corner, with plate number "1A" and part red "overprint imprint", the 5d from R3-4/4-5, SGO11/13.
A fine and fresh unmounted set of blocks of four with full original gum. Each block includes constant printing variety "Short lower bar to L of MAIL" (2d and 1s R6/4, 5d R3/5).
Very scarce as multiples, with only 2,400 issued of the 2d and 5d and 2,100 of the 1s, and the great majority of those being used.
The overprinted Air Mail stamps were issued in celebration of the Centenary of Emancipation. Emancipation Day remains a public holiday in the Kingdom of Tonga to this day celebrating the abolition of the system of serfdom which had been used by the local chiefs for centuries as a means of forced labour. On June 4th 1862, Tonga's first Christian king, George Tupuo I declared the abolition of serfdom in the official emancipation edict as part of his 1862 Code of Laws.
The Stanley Gibbons catalogue value is £264++.
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